“The power of an artwork comes from itself as a whole. What’s in vogue doesn’t matter.”
Born 1980, Beijing
Gu Fan’s art is whimsical, wide-ranging—it includes prints, photographs and TV ads—and resolutely his own. As “Lowfish”, he maintains a blog-cum-gallery and says he regards the internet as his main exhibition space. His black-on-white embroidery Find Light in the Rain (2007) resembles a cartoon, but its focus is on emptiness: in each of the work’s 12 panels, the blank space is at least as important as the lines. The cartoon’s “plot” is mysterious: it seems to involve a cat, a ball of wool, trees, and music. Gu Fan’s work is technically deft, seemingly artless, and rooted in nature. “I love simple life, nature, animals and plants,” he says, adding that he prefers working on cloth and paper because “they are the simplest materials.” His works too are simple, and meant to be so: “They just describe some primary emotions.” And their quietness evokes similar emotions in the viewer.